Friday, March 19, 2010

Beyond Boundaries

When people are thrown together into an unknown situation, it is not uncommon for strong friendships to form quickly. Everyone is new, most are excited, and more than a few are a little anxious. The shared experience forms common ground, and your fellows in the process may come to feel like family.

In the Foreign Service generalist orientation, it only takes about four weeks for these bonds to form. Between the long days of class, the formal and informal social events, and a high percentage of the class living in one of the three Oakwood housing complexes, most FS officers and their families feel quite comfortable with each other by the time Flag Day rolls around. Thus, it can be startling to realize that the people who have shared this experience with you will soon be scattered around the world.

Although it may seem odd that some of us are leaving in April while others are here until February of next year, the friendships formed in A-100--and at our future two or three year posts--will endure beyond the boundaries of fourteen hour flights. And we have friends to visit in every part of the world. We have already invited ourselves to Mexico, Africa, China, and a few more.

Today we go to the swearing in ceremony at main State--"graduation" from A-100--and next week the newly appointed FSOs and some of their family members will start language and/or job specific training. For some, this may be the point at which the journey begins to feel real. For others, it's just another chapter. I'm just hoping that everyone has a guest room.

The 151st A-100 plans its leave time

4 comments:

  1. You are definitely right that the friendships last. There are folks I haven't seen since A-100 6 years ago (unless you count Facebook), and we still hug when we run into each other and talk like we've been working together the whole time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry, computer problems, so I don't know if this posted or not!
    ___________________________________________________________________

    It's Friday, and that means that the Fifth Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up - and you're on it!

    Here is the link:

    http://bit.ly/avMY9E

    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)

    Thanks!

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  3. I, too, am learning that the FS really is a family and we become friends with each other quickly. That has made all of the transitions so much easier to deal with.

    Hi--my name is Jessica, and my husband was in the 150th a-100 class. We are also going to Manila, but we're leaving in about 4 weeks. I'd love to meet you before we fly off, and then we can welcome you when you arrive.

    Our blog is:
    www.lindseymaesmith.blogspot.com

    Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  4. Adventure,
    Please feel free to reference Mobile Home in your blog roundup, and thank you for putting it together!

    ReplyDelete